Advisory Board

Arnico Panday

Dr. Arnico Panday is the Senior Atmospheric Scientist & Programme Coordinator, Atmosphere Initiative at ICIMOD. He is also a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He received his Bachelor's degree with high honors in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University, US, a Master's degree in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US, and a Doctor of Science in Atmospheric Science from MIT. He has conducted postdoctoral research at MIT and at Princeton University's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Since 2011 he has served as advisor and supervisor of the Rwanda Climate Observatory Project, in which MIT and the Government of Rwanda are jointly constructing an atmospheric observatory on the summit of Mt Karisimbi (4,507m). His interests span beyond atmospheric chemistry and physics to cover technologies and policies that reduce emissions to the atmosphere as well as ways to design sustainable cities.

Basudha Gurung

Ms. Basudha Gurung is a Development Practitioner, an International Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, and formerly worked with the Organization Development Centre (ODC). She is active in the field of capacity development of organizations and human resources in the development sector, e.g. Civil Society Organizations including I/NGOs, selected multi/bi-lateral agencies and government agencies (ministries/ departments) on outcome and impact orientation in project management; involving policy/strategy revision and restructuring, and refining or setting up of systems and processes.

She has facilitated various learning programs for a range of development actors - from community workers /social mobilisers to advisory and senior level development practitioners, mainly in Nepal and South Asian countries, Germany and Scandinavian countries. She received her Master's Degree in Economics and Resource Management from the University of Life Sciences, Norway.

Kul Chandra Gautam

Mr. Kul Chandra Gautam is a distinguished international civil servant, development professional, public policy expert, and human rights activist. He was a United Nations official for over three decades, serving in several important capacities, including as Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.

He has extensive experience in international diplomacy, development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. He serves in the Boards of a number of national and international organizations and public-private partnerships dealing with public health, education, and the well-being of women and children. He got his higher education in international relations and development economics at Dartmouth College and Princeton University in USA.

Mallika Shakya

Dr. Mallika Shakya is a Professor at the South Asian University in New Delhi, and formerly worked with London School of Economics and World Bank. She is an economic anthropologist working on labor movements, trader communities and development. She examined the rise and fall of readymade garment industry in Nepal, and then followed the trajectories of Marwari trader diaspora in South Asia and South Africa. Gradually, she became interested in concepts of pan-nationalism especially in the postcolonial context. She has taught in University of Pretoria and University of Oxford, and currently she teaches at South Asian University.

Prior to joining academia, she worked for the United Nations and the World Bank where she initiated and led an Export Competitiveness Thematic Group (EC-TG) which brought on board leading economic sociologists, business scholars and macroeconomists to jointly build an interdisciplinary framework for industrial development. Her handbook on export competitiveness has now been applied in several of the World Bank country operations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. She has also advised governments in Asia and Africa on their policies for industrial development.

Shankar Sharma

Dr. Shankar Sharma is Former Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission and a Former Nepali Ambassador to the United States of America. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Hawaii. He has extensive experience working in government, international institutions and economic research. Before joining the National Planning Commission as a Member in 1997, he worked as a Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Nepal; a Senior Economist in the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore; and a Fellow in the East-West Center, Hawaii. He has also worked as a lead consultant to the Constitution Committee on "Distribution of Natural Resources, Economic Rights and Public Revenue" in helping to draft the new Constitution of Nepal.

He has had hands-on experience at the field level, as an international consultant in Laos, Bhutan, and India. He also worked as a consultant expert in a number of national and international agencies including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and UNDP. Dr. Sharma was also an editor to ASEAN Economic Bulletin and a consultant editor to Hydrocarbon Asia, both published from Singapore for about seven years.

Mahendra Krishna Shrestha

Mahendra Krishna Shrestha is the Chairman of Himalayan General Insurance. He has been involved in the financial sector in Nepal for over two decades. He has led and helped shape some leading organizations in insurance and banking; for example starting Himalayan General Insurance Company in 1993 to leading the reform process for Lumbini Bank Ltd.

Over the years he has been involved in a number of additional sectors including hydropower, telecommunications, health and media. In addition to being a part of all major local chambers of commerce, he has also served as president of Nepal Britain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He brings a varied and holistic perspective to the economic development conversation based on his business background as well as a broad range of additional experience such as serving on the Board of Governors of Welham Boys’ School, India and seeing the inextricable connection between education policy and national development. He has a Masters’ degree holder from Delhi School of Economics.